Trystan's 2017 year list
Main holiday still to be arranged this year so I won't speculate on a final target. I don't think I'll be chasing down year ticks for the sake of it either, will try to stay fairly local looking for UK and Yorkshire lifers.
First day of the year I decided to go and see the long staying Eastern black redstart at Skinningrove, a new subspecies for me and went by way of Ampleforth where a Hawfinch had been reported up to the 16th December. This would be a Yorkshire tick so I thought it worth a try but to no avail. From here, back down the East coast as time and light allowed.
So here goes....
Ampleforth & Route to Skinningrove
7. Carrion crow
8. Great tit
9. Collared dove
11. Feral pigeon
13. Red grouse
14. Black headed gull
15. Herring gull
16. Rock pipit
19. (Eastern) Black redstart
21. Pied wagtail
25. Great black backed gull
Route from Skinningrove to Scarborough
27. Golden plover
29. Canada goose
30. Greylag goose
31. Common gull
33. Coal tit
34. Marsh tit
35. Blue tit
38. Long tailed tit
40. Black necked grebe
42. Great northern diver
45. Red throated diver
46. Mediterranean gull
News of a Glauc at Scalby Mills sent be back through the town
47. Glaucous gull
Filey brigg - too wet and windy to keep the scope upright at times, after finding Purple sandpiper I retreated but fortunately found 1 Knot and 3 Dunlin amongst the Oystercatchers and Redshanks feeding on the clifftop.
48. Purple sandpiper
52. Great spotted woodpecker
With about an hour of decent light left I had to choose between pushing on to Flamborough or back to York for waxwings. With York being closer to home I plumped for this option.
Not huge numbers but very pleased with the quality of the list to start the year.
Just mopping up some easier species locally today with a brief afternoon walk around Calder wetlands and Pugney's hoping to catch up with the Long tailed duck but didn't manage to find it.
61. Grey heron
65. House sparrow
66. Grey wagtail
67. Mute swan
69. Tufted duck
75. Great crested grebe
76. Lesser black backed gull
78. Song thrush
80. Pink footed goose
A productive day out at Fairburn ings and Swillington ings today. Early fog suggested the day would not be good but it managed to lift for the most part but clung on over the water in places making for some very impressive scenery.
Smew and Great egret not reported from Fairburn for a few days and the Long tailed duck at Swillington was mobile yesterday after a long stay so I wasn't too hopeful on these species.
81. Tree sparrow
82. Willow tit - main target around the feeders here
84. Stock dove
If I was the kind of person to count heard only, Cetti's warbler would go here, but I'm not.
85. Little egret
87. Meadow pipit
88. Water pipit
89. Reed bunting
90. Little grebe
94. (Lesser) Redpoll
96. Long tailed duck - still present but on a different lake to yesterday
98. Long eared owl
Smew reported at Fairburn again so back for another go...
100. Mistle thrush
Chose to ignore a field of c. 100 Red legged partridges presumably freshly released, makes something of a mockery of ticking this species at all.
A nice round finish to the day, but only because the owls obstinately refused to come out back at Swillington in the evening.
Optimistic but futile efforts for Lesser Spotted Woodpecker at sites where they have been previously reported, then a Black throated thrush twitch and back to Swillington for the gull roost.
103. Mandarin duck
104. Red kite
105. Black throated thrush
106. Green woodpecker
107. Short eared owl
108. Iceland gull
109. Marsh harrier
Extremely disappointing day today, dipping the Pine bunting and the Pallid harrier. A few year ticks were not consolation.
111. Corn bunting
112. (Dark bellied) Brent goose
113. Bar tailed godwit
114. Grey plover
Extended lunch break while in Newcastle today worked out rather better than the weekend.
Druridge bay country park
115. Red breasted merganser
116. PACIFIC DIVER
Then tipped off about a flock of shorelarks at:
East Chevington NWT
All three species out on the beach sometimes mixing together along with Turnstones and Pied wagtails. Unfortunately time restrictions meant I wasn't able to spend longer here or try for the nearby Great grey shrike.
120. WHITE BILLED DIVER - Really great bird and a nice way to complete the diver set!
Stayed fairly late in the hope of Barn owl and although it didn't show, was rewarded with nice views of Merlin and not so nice views of Bearded tit.
121. White fronted goose
122. Hen harrier
124. Bearded tit
3 Lifers in 3 days! Reversed last weeks misfortune with brief but decent views of the Dunnington Pine bunting today.
127. PINE BUNTING
Mixed day today, failing to connect with the Red breasted goose and Snow goose in Lancashire which both abandoned the spots they had been seen in the last couple of days, did however manage 7 year ticks with some nice species included. Surprised to realise I haven't connected with Bewick's swan since I went to Slimbridge in 2014!
128. Red legged partridge
129. (Tundra) Bean goose
131. Whooper swan
132. Bewick's swan
133. Barnacle goose
Back for more punishment today with a 2nd attempt at the Red breasted goose. This time with more success, the bird not far from it's location yesterday, then headed down to Southport in increasingly windy conditions.
135. RED BREASTED GOOSE
136. Black tailed godwit
137. Cattle egret - 6 reported earlier but connected with 5 of them
Looks like a once a week birding pattern has set in. Trying to make the day stretch as much as possible today but ultimately ran out of time and didn't make it to Welwick to try for the Pallid harrier. So this is how the day went...
138. Great grey shrike
After a great start, no sign of the target bird, the long staying Red necked grebe here. Also tried for Lapland bunting at Flamborough but no joy, only managing a very large flock of linnets and a few skylarks in the favoured and somewhat gigantic ploughed field.
143. Barn owl - wonderful views of a bird out quartering at 3.30pm
144. Hooded crow - 1st Yorkshire
Hoped I might sneak 150 before the end of February but only had this afternoon available to bird this weekend so fell a little short with:
145. Great white egret
146. Grey partridge
Diminishing returns this weekend, putting in the time but not connecting with the targets.
Tried a few places today, slightly better results than last weekend but still not connecting with as much as hoped for.
149. Cetti's warbler - good views eventually making up for the heard only bird earlier in the year.
Disappointed at the apparent departure of the Green sandpiper present all week and the spotted redshanks reported yesterday.
Carlton Marsh - Dipped bittern for the second week in a row, although it always roosts in the same place, it seems to do something else on the days I visit, however, managed to get Water rail off the heard only list while bizarrely replacing it with an entirely unexpected Rose ringed parakeet.
151. Water rail
Didn't really set off with a plan today so please with how the day panned out. A total of 83 species seen and 2 more heard only.
Lower derwent valley
153. Common scoter - despite several trips to the coast, this somehow eluded me so far but an inland female redressed the balance.
155. Ringed plover
156. Little owl
157. Green sandpiper
After numerous failed attempts to see the male which has hooted occasionally around the house, there were two females calling last night, one sat quite conspicuously for me just beyond the garden.
158. Tawny owl
Had hoped to maybe pick up a few early migrants (e.g. wheatear, swallow or even ring ouzel) but nothing doing. At least got the main target, albeit only one individual male with a supporting cast of over 100 golden plovers, 10 lapwing, 6 oystercatcher and 4 curlew in the same field.
159. Black grouse
160. Sand martin - at least 4 over the river and canal
Not too much happening in the way of new arrivals yet.
163. Willow warbler
Stuttering start to spring for me but starting to improve today.
164. Common tern
165. Yellow wagtail
166. Little ringed plover
167. Bittern - flew across the top lake while trying to find the spoonbill in blustery conditions
168. Common sandpiper
169. Spoonbill - gave up from the suggested location to view and tried from the road. Got lucky when it flew out of the heronry, flew in a circle and went back in again.
170. Lesser spotted woodpecker (1st Yorkshire)
While we are being cagey about locations, also
171. Ruddy duck - from earlier in the year
Unable to go for the Red rumped swallow yesterday due to family commitments, was pleased to see it reported this morning and managed to get over to Fairburn on my lunch break only to find that those on site thought the second report was incorrect and it had not been seen since around 8.30am.
With little time available, I had to give up on this one, but still got one consolation year tick.
172. Little gull
Quick afternoon walk locally today.
Main targets today were Nightingale and Montagu's harrier plus any other migrants around still needed for the year list. Overall, a good day, frustrated only by Grasshopper warbler, heard but not seen.
174. Garden warbler
176. Lesser whitethroat
177. Sedge warbler
178. Montagu's harrier
180. Reed warbler
Strange not to have crossed paths with the local dippers so far this year until today right by the road bridge.
Dilemma of heading west to try for Pallid harrier or East for Savi's warbler today. The East won out with a stop off at swillington for a couple of common migrants to start and lots of potential at Spurn given the wind direction. Unfortunately it turned out to be the wrong decision with Spurn as disappointing as I've ever known it to be, not even salvaging one year tick there.
185. Grasshopper warbler
North cave wetlands
It was apparent that a phenomenal amount of Black terns were showing up everywhere so took a quick detour here.
186. Black tern
And that was it, very frustrating.
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